Minimally invasive procedures: how and when is the laser used?
If you’ve been told you need neck or back surgery, you’ve probably researched the benefits of a minimally invasive approach. A small incision and quick recovery are big advantages, but what’s the story behind the laser tool?
You may be surprised to learn that the laser tool is not used in every procedure at Laser Spine Institute. In fact, our highly skilled surgeons only use the laser in certain situations.
“The laser is a part of what we do, but it’s not all of what we do at Laser Spine Institute,” said Jeffrey Langmaid, D.C., a Chiropractor and Consult Physician at Laser Spine Institute.
While spinal nerve compression is usually the culprit of neck and back pain, that compression can be due to three kinds of tissue — disc, ligament and bone. The laser tool can help patients that have disc and ligament challenges. Our surgeons can also use the laser to ablate the nerves that lead to painful, arthritic facet joints. But why is this an effective tool for spine care?
“The energy that it emits is adjustable,” said Dr. Langmaid. “This ensures that it’s used at the proper time on the proper tissue at the proper setting.”
On a low-energy setting, some of our surgeons may use the laser to treat a bulging disc by tightening up and shrinking the protrusion. In addition, the laser may be used on a low setting to stimulate the cells in a disc and produce more disc material as in our RegenaDISC® procedure.
On a high-energy setting, this tool is generally used to ablate or vaporize tissue to relieve the nerve that is causing neck or back pain.
“While the laser excels at treating soft tissue, other tools are better suited for bone, which is why we have a variety of minimally invasive procedures available,” said Dr. Langmaid. “It’s important to note that the use of one tool does not explain the totality of what we do at Laser Spine Institute.”
Before you make the decision to have spine surgery, it’s important to carefully research all of your options. We encourage you to make a list of questions to discuss with your primary care doctor, so you can make the best choices about your spine health and wellness.
If you have questions about Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive outpatient procedures, contact our team today — you may be a possible candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. Get your questions answered and learn more about your free MRI review.*